A woman in the U.K. is making headlines after a medical error left her vomiting poop — seriously.
During what was supposed to be a “minor surgical procedure,” she was left with a terrible medical error when doctors mistakenly damaged the bowel of the woman, 34-year-old Kelly Yeoman, according to the GoFundMe page that her friends and family have started to get her transferred to a specialist.
“She is regularly vomiting a foul mixture of her last meal and her own excrement, and she is struggling to breathe,” the page reads. “At any moment, her bowel could perforate, which (if she is lucky enough to survive the complications) will result in a colostomy bag for the rest of her life. Nothing seems to be working and we are watching her go gradually downhill—she is almost unrecognizable as our happy, strong and determined friend. Every day she seems to fade further away and we are all beginning to fear the worst.”
X-rays featured on the GoFundMe page show fecal matter filling her entire abdominal cavity, getting squished in between organs. Despite 10 weeks of hospitalization and additional (unsuccessful) procedures, doctors have been unable to remedy the issue.
Before you freak out and worry that something like this will happen to you, know that this is a really rare complication from a surgical error during bowel surgery, says expert Jennifer Wider, M.D.
During her surgery, Kelly’s bowel was perforated (meaning that it was accidentally cut), and that allowed fecal matter to pour into her abdominal cavity, Wider explains. As a result, she has peritonitis, an inflammation of the membrane lining that abdominal wall, and that can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening condition caused by infection. “The earlier it is recognized and treated by the doctor, the better for the patient’s recovery,” Wider says.
Again, don’t panic and stress about this happening to you when you have minor surgery—drowning in poop is not normal. “All surgery comes with risks and this particular complication is not unheard of, but it’s relatively rare,” Wider says. When scheduling any procedure (no matter how routine!) talk to your physician to make sure that you understand any and all risks before going under the knife.